What you carry on duty is your preference, as long as you’re within your department’s guidelines and policy. Fortunately I’m allowed to choose what I carry, as long as I purchase the weapon and all of it’s accessories myself. Some departments do not allowed their officers to carry anything other than what they are issued. I’ve had 3 duty weapons in my career so far.
Glock 22 .40 cal.
This pistol was most likely the one that the infamous ATF agent used to accidentally (or negligently) shot himself in his foot with; there’s no such thing as a Glock 40 as he states in the video. The Glock 22 is the .40 caliber model that is almost identical to Gaston Block’s already famous Glock 17 chambered in 9mm. The 22 is my department’s current issued duty weapon, it replaced the dreaded SW99, Smith & Wesson’s version of the Walther P99. The SW99 has numerous issues; they would have parts break off during range sessions. So in came the the Glock 22. I was one of the first classes to get the new department issued Glocks. I could’ve carried whatever I wanted in the academy, but I didn’t want to stand out by being the only recruit with a different weapon. The Glock 22 is an excellent weapon system that is inexpensive and extremely reliable. I was shocked to learn from the armorers, that in order to take the gun apart, the trigger needed to be pulled. In order for the Glock to have the least amount of parts, this was the end result. Other than that issue, the weapon never failed me after thousands of rounds in the academy. I didn’t carry the Glock for long afterwards. Like I said at the beginning, it is all about preference.
Heckler and Koch USP .40 cal
When I turned 21, the legal age to possess a handgun, I went straight to the gunstore and purchased my H&K USP .40. With everything that I buy, when it comes to weapons and duty equipment, I do extensive research before I make up my mind. During my research for a pistol, it came down to the H&K USP .40 and the Sig Sauer P226 in .40. The H&K narrowly won that competition. I carried the USP for a few years and it worked great with no problems until I mounted a weapon mounted light on it. One drawback on the design is the proprietary H&K rail. In order for me to attach my Surefire X200b weapon mounted light onto it, I needed a rail adapter made by Surefire. The X200b also had a pressure switch that ran under the trigger guard and was activated by squeezing your middle finger. With a combination of the rail, light and pressure switch along with the placement of the magazine release, this led to a unique and deadly malfunction: whenever I shot a round with this setup, the magazine would be ejected-every time! Please note, I’m the only one who has had this malfunction with this setup. I have asked everyone who has my similar setup if they have had any issues and it seems like I’m the only one. As a result, I ran the gun without a light until I ran into problems with my magazines. My magazines wouldn’t lock the slide to the rear when they were empty. After that issue, I no longer wanted the USP as my duty weapon. Sure I could’ve replaced the magazine springs or replaced them, but I really wanted to have the capability of employing a WML. Having a WML greatly enhances your ability to identify your target in a low light or no light situation, while allowing you to fire your weapon with a standard two hand grip.
Sig Sauer P229R 9mm
This pistol was actually my off-duty weapon for a while until I went with a subcompact option. The Sig Sauer P229R is the compact version of the P226R. Sig Sauer pistols are known for their reliability and are used by the US Navy SEALs (MK25), US Secret Service (P229), US Air Marshals, FBI and many other agencies and departments. The ‘R’ after P229 indicates that it has a picatinny rail on it’s frame, which makes it easier to attach a WML or laser etc. to the weapon. My P229R is currently my duty weapon and it has the Surefire X200b WML attached. I have had no problems with the Sig, I’ve been drug through the dirt with it in my drop leg holster during a training class and it was just caked in sand and dirt. When I drew it to fire, it performed flawlessly. It lives true to one of Sig Sauer’s slogans, “to he’ll and back reliability.” For now it’ll be my duty weapon for the time being. Who knows what I might choose later on…